Current Affairs- September 2015

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India’s Gurpreet Singh wins silver medal at 2015 Asian Air Gun Championship

India’s ace shooter Gurpreet Singh has won silver medal at 2015 Asian Air Gun Championship held in New Delhi.

In the finals of 10 metre Air Pistol event, Gurpreet shot a tally of 197.6 to stand second on the podium. India’s Jitu Rai finished at third position wining bronze medal in this event.

The gold medal in the 10 metre Air Pistol event was bagged by Boroujeni Safari of Iran with a tally shot of 198.7.

It should be noted that this fourth medal India has won in 2015 Asian Air Gun Championship. Earlier, Abhinav Bindra had clinched the gold in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle event while Ayonika Pual won the bronze in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle event.

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Taliban captures northern Afghan city of Kunduz

Taliban militants have captured the strategic northern Afghan city of Kunduz in a massive assault involving hundreds of fighters.

This massive attack comes a day before the first anniversary of President Ashraf Ghani’s unity government. It is also one of the massive attack undertaken by Taliban militants after formal end of US-NATO coalition mission in Afghanistan in December 2014.

Setback: Kunduz is also the first provincial capital to be seized by the Taliban militants after they had lost their power after the US-led invasion in 2001. The fall of Kunduz marks a major setback for Afghan government forces who are struggling to combat the Taliban militants since the shift US and NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) combat mission to a supporting role.

Strategic Importance: Kunduz province is strategically important as it is considered a gateway to Afghanistan’s Northern provinces and Central Asia as it shares a border with Tajikistan.

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Union Government unveils Green Highways Policy 2015

Union Government has launched Green Highways (Plantation, Transplantation, Beautification & Maintenance) Policy-2015 to promote greening of National Highway corridors across the country.

The policy was unveiled by Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi.

Key features of Green Highways Policy 2015

  • Promote greening and development eco-friendly National Highway corridors across the country with participation of farmers, private sector and government institutions including Forest Department.
  • It will address the issues that lie in the road of development and pave the way towards sustainable development.
  • Objective: To reduce the impact of air pollution and dust by planting trees and shrubs along the National Highways. They will act as natural sink for air pollutants and arrest soil erosion at the embankment slopes.
  • Stake holders: Contracts for greening highways will be given to NGOS, agencies, private companies and government organisations. These stakeholders will be responsible for the survival and health of trees.
  • Planting of trees in any particular area will depend on the soil suitability and climatic conditions.
  • Monitoring Agency: It will be responsible for monitoring the plantation status on continuous basis by carrying out the site visit for field verification to check survival, growth and size of plantation and maintenance of the same.
  • Performance audit of executing agencies will be regularly conducted by the agency on an Annual basis. New contracts will be awarded to the agencies based on their past performance audit.

Implications: The policy will strike a balance between highways development and environmental protection. It will also help in providing employment to 5 lakh people of the rural areas.

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